March 8 is “International Women’s Day” — a day observed around the globe, celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
Meet Fatima Matar. A mother, an attorney, a law professor — and a woman who fled prosecution and possible jail time from the government of Kuwait over a tweet.
A tweet she considered a joke, and one that the government considered blasphemous and a felony.
It went like this:
Dear God, can I have a Ferrari?
God: Be reasonable.
Me: Equal gender rights?
God: What color Ferrari?
“So I was trying to express the impossibility of equal gender rights,” Matar explained.
From there, the threats started and escalated and Matar felt she and her daughter would be in danger if they remained in Kuwait. In the past, Matar had also protested in favor of women’s rights and LGBTQ rights in the country and fought against a book ban.
So she sought asylum in the United States, eventually ending up in Cleveland two years ago.
To support herself and her daughter — she took her savings and invested it into creating a cell phone app.
“I felt like I was solving a problem for so many women and men — mostly women — who felt they have too many demands on their time,” Matar said.
The app is called Beu and the tagline is ‘Get gorgeous on the go.’
The goal is to have individual stylists, cosmetologists, and nail techs offer their services to women — and men — in their homes or on location at the touch of a button.
“Here are salons, losing 40 to 45% of their clientele so I thought this is a great way for cosmetologists who have lost their job due to the pandemic to find another way to make an income,” Matar said.
For her, it’s a startup built from scratch around a life, rebuilt from scratch.
And a testament to the strength of women — anywhere and everywhere in the world.
“You know, we always land on our feet. Wherever you throw us, we always land on our feet.”
Since the app launched as the pandemic hit, Matar said she hasn’t gotten much traction just yet, hoping stylists see the ease of use and sign up.
It is free to download on the Apple and Android app stores if you’re interested in checking it out.